Dr. Deborah Fields To Become a Research Associate Professor on July 1, 2018

Dr. Deborah Fields, an assistant professor in the Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences (ITLS) Department at Utah State, will become a research associate professor on July 1, 2018.

Dr. Deborah Fields
Dr. Deborah Fields
"Debbie is already one of us and has been since 2012," The Department Head, Dr. Andrew Walker, explained. "Debbie manages to connect with her students no matter how much geography is between them. Her scholarly record is exemplary, inclusive, and is about broadening participation."

"I love working with my colleagues and grad students," Dr. Fields said. "I've worked with Victor Lee, Breanne Litts, and Kristin Searle on research, Jody Clarke and Victor Lee on course design, and many ITLS students on research and papers. My most recent collaboration was with Matthew Havertz on the 2018 STEM Video Challenge."

Dr. Fields' has studied virtual worlds for children, STEM education, digital and social environments, and more. She has co-authored a book with MIT Press called Connected Play: Tween Life in a Virtual World. Some of her most recent publications have been about the Scratch community and computational thinking and electronic textiles curriculum. She is also a reviewer for the Journal of the Learning Sciences (JLS) and was selected as Reviewer of the Year in 2015.

"What I have been most interested in recently is the role of reflection in making," Dr. Fields described. "In schools we have been integrating portfolios as a form of reflection where students share challenges and changes they have made to their e-textile projects as well as what they have learned in the 8-10 week unit overall. The reflections have become powerful spaces for them to narrate their own identities with computer science and STEM."

She further expounds, "Reflection has come up as an important part of constructionist practice in a new study I am doing about constructionism in Thailand. Many participants in that study (all adults—teachers, business leaders, factory workers, farmers) have pointed to reflection as giving them power and control over their own lives. Instead of just doing something and moving on, reflection allows them to evaluate, iterate, and improve, whether it's improving an educational strategy, problem solving industrial equipment, or revising agricultural practices."

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